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Final Course Reflection

The GRA145 course was a great course to experience new services and software. I’ve learned a lot about WordPress, and branding online in general. WordPress has a large community and support for themes and plugins. Themes and plugins are vast, but most premium themes have a price tag. After taking the class I feel capable of maintaining a WordPress site, but would require more experience with handling the host/server side.

Adobe Xd has been a great tool, which I will continue to use in the future. It’s a great way to further finalize a design of a website, compared to a wireframe. I think the strong suit of Xd is the potential for portfolio work. You don’t have to be able to create a website or app to produce a design. Although it has minimal prototyping, it seems to be a great tool for showing developers or customers your design.

I would definitely recommend the course for other students. It helps you understand a brand from a social and interactive perspective. User experience, especially how a company interacts with its users is important.

Internet Saves the Day

The internet has saved many days, and probably will save many more. My senior year of high school, I was given an iPad for class work. The Google Drive services helped out a lot. I didn’t have to rely on constantly backing up files to bring to school. If I forgot a file at home, then it was still there in cloud storage. I was able to maintain an easy workflow between class and home.

I also can say the internet has made my day, especially on days that weren’t great. Playing video games with friends or watching a funny video clip helps out. Sometimes the small things can have a big impact on days, and I can say the internet has impacted me a lot.

 

Photo Credit: “FreeImages.com/Shawn Thomas”, license A.

Constantly Connected: Bad

Constantly being connected to technology and the internet means constantly being distracted. Our biggest distractions are our phones, which are always in our pockets. This allows for distractions to be anywhere all the time. I think the worst time being connected with our personal devices, would be class and work. There are many advantages to technology assisting us with work, but it can become a real hindrance.

For myself I procrastinate heavily with work, and most of my work I need a computer to complete. It’s a double edged sword, because my entertainment is right next to my work. I can struggle sometimes with getting work done, especially maintaining a schedule for work. If anything, I’ve learned to work harder at finding a balance.

 

Photo Credit: “FreeImages.com/Marius Largu”, license A.

Constantly Connected: Good

Information is always at our fingertips now, and that means we can always be connected to friends and family. The ‘good’ for myself would be staying connected to friends. I said in a previous post that I stay in contact with friends through video games and voice calls. It’s powerful in the sense that people can maintain all kinds of relationships, while being a distance apart.

Several of the other topic questions from previous weeks can attest to the good of being constantly connected: learn, eat, shop, work, etc. All of these have pros and cons, but I believe most positives of the internet can out weigh the bad. The internet will continue to assist me with class and work.

 

Photo Credit: “FreeImages.com/Alberto Fernandez”, license A.

Work and Internet

The internet has greatly improved everyone’s work flow. Course work can be done anywhere such as research papers. I don’t have to constantly be at a library doing research. Besides course work, working from multiple locations has become easier with cloud storage. I can go from home, to class, and then work with all my files available instantly. I’m not familiar with Adobe’s Creative Cloud storage, but I’m sure it’s just as great as Dropbox or Google Drive. These services can really save the day when you forget your flash drive.

Google has many other services, such as drive applications, which allow anyone to have free access to storage and word processors. This is great for students, not an extra expense: you can write documents, create power point presentations, and store class notes.

Downside of the internet at our fingertips, would be smartphones in class and at work. The distraction is in our pocket, but it depends on the person for the phone to become a hindrance.

 

Photo Credit: “FreeImages.com/Rick Tolboom”, license A.

App I Wish Existed

Off the top of my head, I can not think of an app that I would specifically want. I personally only use a handful of apps frequently. If I’m gonna use an app, then it needs to have some benefit for day to day use. Sometimes the best apps can be useful tools for everyday life, like a simple flashlight.

Apps I wish existed were helpful tools for the hobbies I currently have. When I go disc golfing I would like a helpful app for tips on: flight path, grip, routes, etc. I don’t think there is an app as in depth with helpful information. Most tips are scattered throughout YouTube videos. Or maybe an app with Computer related tips. Applications that assist you or benefit you in day to day use are the ones that really shine.

 

Photo Credit: “FreeImages.com/eric gross”, license A.

Favorite App

The app I find myself frequently using is ‘Reddit Is Fun’, an unofficial android app for the website reddit.com. Reddit, described by Wikipedia,┬áis an American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website. The app is just used to browse the same information on the website, but in a more mobile friendly method.

I use the app to browse current news, funny photos, and even reviews of products. If I am waiting in line or on break, then I will probably be browsing Reddit. The app appeals to everyone. There are different subsections, referred to as subreddits, for any topic you can think, with discussion open to all. So the appeal is for anyone interested in a specific hobby, sport, team, or even just to casually browse current events.

I enjoy the slide out menu on the app, push a button on any page and the menu will slide out. This gives the user quick navigation to any other subreddit. Enjoying the feature so much, I created a similar menu in my Adobe Xd app project. I dislike that there aren’t any push notifications. Maybe users would like get updates to a post they liked or created. However, this feature might be available other apps that let you browse Reddit.

Photo Credit: Screenshot taken of Reddit.com